Governor Scott Walker, a Wisconsin Republican, wants faculty members at University of Wisconsin campuses to teach more. Walker spoke to reporters Wednesday, the day after formally proposing $300 million in cuts to the university system, in exchange for autonomy that university leaders won't lead to saving anywhere near large enough to make up for the cuts. The Wisconsin State Journal reported that the governor told reporters Wednesday that his plan for the universities would “make them do things that they have not traditionally done.” The governor explained: “They might be able to make savings just by asking faculty and staff to consider teaching one more class per semester.... Things like that could have a tremendous impact on making sure that we preserve an affordable education for all of our UW campuses, and at the same time we maintain a high-quality education.”
University officials questioned whether this is feasible. Vince Sweeney, vice chancellor for university relations at the UW flagship at Madison, said that survey data show most faculty members work 50 to 70 hours a week on teaching, research and other activities. He noted that the research efforts of professors "bring in millions of dollars in grant funding that is a direct boost to the Wisconsin economy."
Submitted by Jake New on January 29, 2015 - 3:00am
Colleges are investigating the majority of reported cases of sexual assault and are finding less than half of accused students responsible, according to a report released Tuesday by United Educators, a risk management and insurance firm. The study examined 305 reported cases of sexual assault at 104 institutions between 2011 and 2014.
About three-quarters of those cases were investigated, according to the report, and the accused students were found responsible in 45 percent of them. One-quarter of the cases resulted in the accused students not being found responsible, and in 7 percent of the cases, the accused students withdrew before the adjudication process was complete.
Of the 23 percent of cases that were never investigated by a college or university, 20 percent of the claims involved students who were unable to identify who had assaulted them. Another 23 percent involved victims who were "uncooperative" and chose not to pursue an investigation. More than 40 percent of the cases that were investigated ended in the accused student's expulsion, the report said, and 25 percent ended in suspensions of more than a year. Disciplinary probation and training accounted for about 9 percent of the sanctions.
"The method used by the perpetrator to carry out the assault may have been a factor in an institution’s choice of sanction," the authors wrote. "More than four-fifths (82 percent) of expulsion sanctions were for perpetrators who either took advantage of a victim’s incapacitation or used physical force. Disciplinary probation and lesser sanctions were most often imposed by institutions when the sexual assault involved failed consent."
Submitted by Jake New on January 29, 2015 - 3:00am
A Norfolk State University student was hospitalized Sunday after she was attacked by a Norfolk Police dog while leaving a party near campus. London Colvin, who is a junior at Norfolk State and a private in the Army Reserve, received 40 stitches after the encounter and will require plastic surgery to close a gaping gash on her leg, according to the Potomac Local. Colvin was attacked by the dog while being arrested during a large fight outside the party.
The student's cousin told the newspaper that Colvin was not involved in the fight, but that she was being loud and disorderly while walking away from the scene. "We can understand her getting arrested, because she was being disorderly, however, she didn’t have a weapon," the cousin said. "She can’t put her hands up, or remove her hands from anywhere, or do anything because she’s being restrained by two police officers. So to allow the dog [to attack] is the only thing that we have a problem with."
Daniel Hudson, a spokesman for the Norfolk police, said officers often use canine units during incidents involving large crowds and that the fight involved about 35 people. “There was an officer that was attempting to place the woman in custody for disorderly conduct," Hudson said. "When [the officer] tried to place her in custody, she became combative against the officer. Another officer attempted to restrain her, but again, there were multiple people around, so the canine officer deployed the dog to restrain the woman so nobody would get hurt."
Doctors at the health centers that serve students at University of California campuses held a one-day strike Tuesday, The Los Angeles Times reported. Strikes by doctors are rare. In this case, their union is in a dispute with the university over a contract. University officials said that they moved non-urgent appointments while having doctors who are managers and not in the union handle urgent appointments.
Submitted by Jake New on January 28, 2015 - 3:00am
After a three-week trial, a jury has found two former Vanderbilt University football players guilty of the 2013 rape of a female student. Cory Batey and Brandon Vandenburg were accused of filming themselves and other players having sex with the unconscious student in a campus dorm. On Tuesday, they were found guilty on 14 counts of aggravated rape and sexual battery. Vandenburg was also found guilty of tampering with evidence and unlawful photography. The players, who face decades in prison, will be sentenced in March. The verdict was delivered as more than 430 representatives from 76 colleges and universities in Tennessee, including Vanderbilt, gathered at a summit this week focused on preventing campus sexual assault.
"Many months ago Vanderbilt found both defendants responsible for violating our sexual misconduct policy, and we quickly discharged both of them from the football team and subsequently expelled them from the university," Beth Fortune, Vanderbilt's vice chancellor for public affairs, said in a statement. "We are confident we acted appropriately."
Yale University leaders sent an e-mail to the campus on Monday about the much-debated action of a university police officer to detain at gunpoint a black male student who was briefly suspected (based on his appearance) of being a thief. The student's father is a New York Times columnist who wrote about the incident on Twitter and in the Times, drawing widespread discussion and accusations of racial profiling. The e-mail Yale officials sent Monday distinguished between what happened at Yale and other recent incidents in which unarmed black men have been killed -- and the letter sought to separate the decision to question the student with the decision to do so at gunpoint.
"Let us be clear: we have great faith in the Yale Police Department and admire the professionalism that its officers display on a daily basis to keep our campus safe. What happened on Cross Campus on Saturday is not a replay of what happened in Ferguson; Staten Island; Cleveland; or so many other places in our time and over time in the United States. The officer, who himself is African American, was responding to a specific description relayed by individuals who had reported a crime in progress," said the e-mail. "Even though the officer's decision to stop and detain the student may have been reasonable, the fact that he drew his weapon during the stop requires a careful review. For this reason, the Yale Police Department’s Internal Affairs unit is conducting a thorough and expeditious investigation of the circumstances surrounding the incident, and will report the findings of that investigation to us. We, in turn, will share the findings with the community. We ask that you allow us the time needed to collect and examine the facts from everyone involved."
The e-mail was sent by Peter Salovey, Yale's president; Jonathan Holloway, dean of Yale College; and Ronnell Higgins, chief of the Yale Police Department.
Submitted by Jake New on January 27, 2015 - 3:00am
More than 430 representatives from 76 colleges and universities in Tennessee will attend a summit this week focused on campus sexual assault. The summit will be hosted by the state's public and private higher education systems -- the University of Tennessee, the Tennessee Board of Regents, and the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association -- and will include training and resources provided by the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. The two-day meeting is taking place the same week that a high-profile rape trial involving two Vanderbilt University athletes is expected to conclude.
"Preventing and responding to sexual assaults and relationship violence is a priority in Washington and across the country and, now more than ever, in Tennessee," Joe DiPietro, president of the University of Tennessee, said during a call with reporters last week. "We've not only heightened our focus in Tennessee, we also agree that we can be more effective at combating sexual violence by working together."